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Brook Stowe

Brook Stowe is a playwright and the editor of the annual New York Theater Review.

RNC: Fight or Flight?

Between August 30 and September 2, nearly 50,000 Republican party delegates, press representatives and supporters will invade New York City for the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Radiohole is Still Their Name

This combination of parody and seriousness reflects the contradictions of an era in which we find ourselves confronted with the urgent necessity and the near impossibility of initiating and carrying out a totally collective action— an era in which the most serious ventures are masked in the ambiguous interplay between art and its necessary negation, and in which the essential voyages of discovery have been undertaken by such astonishingly incapable people. —"Détournement as Negation and Prelude," from Internationale Situationniste #3, 1959

Len Jenkin, Like I Say

"Lemurs." They’re coming. "Leeemurrrrs…" The lemur zombies. Staggering Night of the Living Dead-style through an exclusive Italian spa, this pack of rapidly-aging Beautiful People desperately craves the retreat’s pampering specialty: an elixir of eternal youth, a beyond-botox concoction extracted from a cute-looking little African primate and administered by the mysteriously sinister Dr. Moto.

Brooklyn in the Fringe

Pat Candaras began questioning authority at a very early age. Growing up in the Midwood Section of Brooklyn, she was the only one of seventeen brothers and sisters to be shuttled off to live amongst an extended family that included an uncle the same age as his one-eyed stepdaughter and an aunt's brother who holed up in the basement when he wasn't being periodically checked into the hospital for "rest."

Bullseye Brooklyn: Sponsored by Nobody's Right on Target

Those red and white concentric circles. You know them: three small becoming one larger, immaculately proportioned and perfectly centered. Since 1968, the circle’s ubiquitous presence has spread from advertising circulars to canine mascots to race cars, impassively branding all it touches.

The Lost Pages of War: P73 Stages Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue

As American military deaths in Iraq climbed past the 2000 mark this past October, ran a cartoon by Signe Wilkinson showing an infinite line of flag-draped coffins, each with a number on it. Hovering attentively about coffin number 2000 was a pack of politicians, clergy, and media. Completely ignored were coffins number 1999 and before, and 2001 onward.

On the Art of Sticking Out: Clubbed Thumb

First, they browbeat Wallace Shawn into seeing things their way. Then, they named their company after a deformed digit. Now, they’re offering $15,000 to the best pitch for a new play that might have something to do with a legendary stash of ducats that may never have actually even existed.

The Booth Variations

At first glance, the life of celebrated 19th-Century American actor Edwin Booth would seem to have little if anything in common with folks who eat worms on TV, and eagerly subject themselves to myriad other humiliations in hopes of grasping their own fleeting moment of celebrity, or "fame."

Power to the Playwright: 13P

Recently, I witnessed a particularly difficult descent into what some playwrights not so affectionately dub “development hell.” A promising young New York playwright, fresh out of grad school, was invited to spend two weeks with a veteran director and dramaturg developing her play for a new works festival.

Up from Off-Off: Prelude '05 Redefining "Downtown" Theater

Imagine yourself on the “L” or the “F” or some other subway line lurching towards Williamsburg, DUMBO or a murky address in Manhattan somewhere below 14th Street. Propelled into the ominous night, you stumble past leering crackheads and clutching street urchins to the graffiti-splattered façade of the hot new “off-off-Broadway” theater space your friend Kiki had raved about. After plunging down the dimly-lit suicide staircase, you crunch your way across a carpet of empty beer cans, past the one-eyed, tattooed troll clutching a cash box and croaking, “fifteen dollah,” to the performance space itself—a fetid, airless little room where, under a single, flickering spot, a painted man in a loincloth listlessly beats a drum while reciting the complete works of Heiner Müller, backwards. The little room fills with big people who look like they don’t like you. The troll locks the door behind him and doesn’t open it again for seven hours. Too late, you find yourself wishing you’d gone to Momma Mia! for the 47th time instead.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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